HISTORY OF THE BCMGA TROPICAL GARDEN
In the waning days of February 2004 and longing for warm days in a tropical climate, we decided that we should have a tropical garden at our Education Station.
Utilizing a partially protected area that was once a horse corral, we cleared the area of trash and started the long process of getting rid of a massive batch of weeds. We brought in good sifted top soil, spread it out and installed a drainage ditch to keep it from getting too wet. Next we cut the pathways down about three inches, put down a plastic weed barrier and added granite gravel. While all this was going on, we were collecting and planting plants, including bamboo, bougainvillea, durantas, hibiscus and several types of palms. In September, we called the garden finished and it was beautiful. Then the totally unexpected happened that December – we had a White Christmas. Our policy was not to protect plants from the cold, if it freezes and does not come back, then it does not belong in Brazoria County. We were lucky in that we lost very few plants.
In 2005 we added more plants and watched our plants grow from knee high to shoulder high. By the end of that year, we were so over crowded, we began planning Phase 2.
In 2006, Phase 2 was started with the garden preparation as with Phase 1.
In 2007, we continued adding new plant varieties and again began looking at a space problem. In the beginning a few plants were planted that were not truly tropical. To free up space, these plants were removed and added to the stock for the Spring 2008 Plant Sale.
Of course, no tropical garden would be complete without animals. We are fortunate to have a member who is a metal sculpture. So our garden has a parrot, a great heron, and best of all, a monkey. Also, we have a large family of frogs, a few of which are alive.
Gardens are never finished. We will continue to have the tropical garden change as it grows, as do all of our flower beds. As one of our members is fond of saying “plants need passports”, you never know just where it might prefer to grow next.
We can not list all the plants we have on the website. Please enjoy the few pictures, but we urge you to come out and take a tour thru the tropical area and the rest of the beautiful gardens. We typically welcome visitors and are normally in attendance each Tuesday and Friday morning. But currently due to COVID restrictions we are not allowing visitors. During non-COVID times, we can offer tours at you or your organizations convenience.
The Tropical Garden was established to demonstrate which tropical plants grow well in Brazoria County growing conditions. Many of the garden’s varieties are established favorites, needing no testing to prove their hardiness. Other less familiar varieties and new introductions need several years of testing to understand how they withstand the local pest and climate variations.
- Demonstrate to Brazoria County residents what tropical plants grow well with minimum care and water under local growing conditions
- Provide propagation feedstock for plant sales.
- Create a place to enjoy the beauty of many different tropical plants.